Water vapour is one of the major components in the atmosphere with strong impacts on the earth's climate and weather. Water vapour absorbs radiation in the infrared spectral range and its abundance in the atmosphere, making it the most important natural greenhouse gas.

The Total Column Water Vapour (TCWV) generated by S5P-PAL is a pre-operational TROPOMI product. In contrast to other satellite sensors, TROPOMI provides daily global measurements of TCWV over land and ocean.

The TCWV retrieval algorithm using the visible blue spectral band was originally developed by DLR for GOME-2 and optimized for TROPOMI in the framework of the S5P-PAL project.

Information about TCWV

The TCWV processor is developed and maintained by DLR.

All users are encouraged to first look at the README file for a general description on how to use the TCWV product.

Available resources:

Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD)
Product User Manual (PUM)
Validation Papers:

Processor version history

  • v01.05.00 (2023-10-31)
    • Added QDOAS polynomial coefficient variables to the output product
    • Added additional check for missing scan lines between L1B and L2 products
    • Fixed processor_version in metadata and file naming issue
    • Fixed units typo
    • Fixed satellite_longitude validity bounds
  • v01.01.01 (2022-07-15)
    • Fixed lat/lon-swapped footprint coordinates
    • Fixed surface_albedo attribute typo
  • v01.01.00 (2022-06-01)
    • Initial public release

Known issues

The dataset does not provide a full timeline and products for several orbits are known to be missing. Information about known acquisition gaps in the data can be found on the Mission Status webpage of Sentinel-5P.

No products are produced when there is a mismatch between the number of scanlines in the L1B and L2 CLOUD input products.

Interactive product browsing and download

Available product files can be selected and downloaded using the SpatioTemporal Asset Catalog (STAC) browser interface.

This browser interface does not currently support the more advanced search queries made possible by the STAC API. For that you will need to programmatically query the S5P-PAL STAC endpoint.


Questions regarding this service can be send to the ESA EO Support Helpdesk.

This service is provided as part of the Sentinel-5P Product Algorithm Laboratory (S5P-PAL) and contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data processed by S[&]T.